Deputy President David Mabuza has answered questions in the National Assembly on a wide range of issues. These included load shedding and Eskom’s turnaround strategy as well as what measures are in place to ensure that the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines will not be tainted by corruption.

Members of Parliament asked what measures have been put in place by the Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that unlike with Personal Protective Equipment; large-scale corruption can be prevented.

Mabuza says the government is confident that effective measures have been put in place to prevent any corruption around the acquisition, distribution and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

“In the acquisition of vaccines, there is limited room for corruption as the market is highly regulated, there are a few manufacturers, furthermore, there is stringent quality assessment, procurement is centralised at the national level for ease of monitoring.”

Members of Parliament Steve Swart from the African Christian Democratic Party called for extra measures to be put in place.

Mabuza response, “To allay your fear, nothing will be hidden. AG will inspect agreements, see the value for money, also trying by all means to use available capability. We are looking to use our own storage as government. The Department of Defence has facilities we can use,  cold chain. But we want to minimise tender process as far as we can.”

Eskom turnaround strategy 

On the matter of Eskom’s turnaround strategy, Mabuza told MPs that the process is complex and taking time. But he says they have met various deadlines as part of the strategy, such as the unbundling of the utility.

Mabuza says South Africans should bear with the load shedding the country is experiencing, as Eskom tries to put measures in place to maintain its aging power plants.

“They are now doing reliability maintenance so that these power stations can be reliable. We are going to do everything to shorten the period. Let’s accept what the leadership has said. But we will go, to say let’s put more effort to reduce the period of load shedding. ”

On Monday, Eskom Group CEO André de Ruyter briefed the media on the state of the system.

Eskom’s management team also provided details of the company’s operational performance: